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View Poll Results: Give me your top 15.
Eric Allen, CB 1988-1994 Philadelphia Eagles, 1995-97 New Orleans Saints, 1998-2001 Oakland Raiders 13 17.11%
Jared Allen, DE 2004-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2008-2013 Minnesota Vikings, 2014-15 Chicago Bears, 2015 Carolina Panthers 47 61.84%
Willie Anderson, T 1996-2007 Cincinnati Bengals, 2008 Baltimore Ravens 10 13.16%
Ronde Barber, CB-S 1997-2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 29 38.16%
Anquan Boldin, WR 2003-09 Arizona Cardinals, 2010-12 Baltimore Ravens, 2013-15 San Francisco 49ers, 2016 Detroit Lions 30 39.47%
Tony Boselli, T 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2002 Houston Texans (injured reserve) 29 38.16%
LeRoy Butler, S 1990-2001 Green Bay Packers 17 22.37%
Eddie George, RB 1996-2003 Houston Oilers/Tennessee Oilers-Titans, 2004 Dallas Cowboys 20 26.32%
Devin Hester, PR-KR-WR 2006-2013 Chicago Bears, 2014-15 Atlanta Falcons, 2016 Baltimore Ravens 28 36.84%
Torry Holt, WR 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars 34 44.74%
Andre Johnson, WR 2003-2014 Houston Texans, 2015 Indianapolis Colts, 2016, Tennessee Titans 35 46.05%
Robert Mathis, DE-LB 2003-2016 Indianapolis Colts 20 26.32%
Sam Mills, LB 1986-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers 20 26.32%
Richard Seymour, DE-DT 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders 38 50.00%
Steve Smith, WR 2001-2013 Carolina Panthers, 2014-16 Baltimore Ravens 41 53.95%
Steve Tasker, ST-WR 1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills 17 22.37%
Fred Taylor, RB 1998-2008 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2009-2010 New England Patriots 10 13.16%
Zach Thomas, LB 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys 26 34.21%
Hines Ward, WR 1998-2011 Pittsburgh Steelers 28 36.84%
DeMarcus Ware, LB-DE 2005-2013 Dallas Cowboys, 2014-16 Denver Broncos 34 44.74%
Ricky Watters, RB 1992-94 San Francisco 49ers, 1995-97 Philadelphia Eagles, 1998-2001 Seattle Seahawks 14 18.42%
Reggie Wayne, WR 2001-2014 Indianapolis Colts 44 57.89%
Vince Wilfork, DT 2004-2014 New England Patriots, 2015-16 Houston Texans 33 43.42%
Patrick Willis, LB 2007-2014 San Francisco 49ers 22 28.95%
Darren Woodson, S 1992-2003 Dallas Cowboys 27 35.53%
Bryant Young, DT 1994-2007 San Francisco 49ers 9 11.84%
None of these slugs deserves a spot in the prestigious Hall of Fame. 4 5.26%
The Hall of Fame is irrelevant after admitting JBettis, FLittle, and TDavis. 12 15.79%
Write-in protest vote for Albert Lewis (Doesn't count toward your 15) 22 28.95%
Write-in protest vote for Art Still (Doesn't count toward your 15) 18 23.68%
Write-in protest vote for Deron Cherry (Doesn't count toward your 15) 20 26.32%
Write-in protest vote for Otis Taylor (Doesn't count toward your 15) 35 46.05%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 76. You may not vote on this poll
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The Lounge>2022 Hall of Fame Semifinalists
Rain Man 01:29 PM 11-29-2021
I feel like the list gets weaker every year. Maybe it's just because I no longer look starry-eyed at football players. I still don't understand who Deron Cherry and Albert Lewis made angry, because they deserve to be on this list over nearly every player on it.

Whatever. The next cut goes from these 26 to 15. So vote for the 15 that you'll begrudgingly allow even though they're not Deron Cherry and Albert Lewis.

Poll coming slowly, like that big dude who knocks on the players' hotel doors when they get in.
[Reply]
DJ's left nut 02:51 PM 11-29-2021
People have forgotten how unbelievably good Patrick Willis was.

In the first 7 years of his career he made 7 Pro Bowls and 5 First Team All Pro teams. That's incredible. And yeah, he retired at 30 which is pretty young, but would he have had any greater impact on the game had he stuck around for another 3-4 years and racked up stats?

He was the heart and soul of those Harbaugh 49er teams that emerged from the abyss into annual contenders. He was able to control games as an off-ball backer in ways that only the All Time guys have been able to do.

He belongs in the Hall.
[Reply]
ThaVirus 02:51 PM 11-29-2021
Hmm, I didn't truly become a die-hard NFL fan until 2003 so I'm not the best person to ask. I watched casually in the 90s but I was young and often didn't know exactly what I was seeing. Here are my thoughts anyway:

These guys are most deserving. They were very good for a long time:

Ronde Barber
He was one of the most versatile CBs I've ever seen. He ended up with 47 INTs, 28 sacks, 15 FFs, and scored 12 return TDs. He's also got over 1,000 tackles. He's the only DB in the top 10 for tackles all time.

Devin Hester
He's the best returner of all time. It'd be difficult to argue against him. If he'd have been born 10 years earlier, his numbers would be even crazier. The new rules really hurt him.

Robert Mathis
He's got the most FFs of any player in NFL history. That's kind of crazy. Also top 20 in sacks.

Demarcus Ware
Ended his career a cheater, but he's top 10 in sacks all time. 35 FFs as well, very impressive career.

Jared Allen
Ended up having a hell of a career. He's currently #12 all time in sacks. If he'd have managed to notch just 2 more, he'd be in the top 10.

Richard Seymour
Cheating douche, but he was the best player on those Patriots defenses of the early-mid 2000s. Plus he decked the shit out of Ben Roethlisberger and that was pretty awesome.

I think Patrick Willis, Vince Wilfork, and Tony Boselli are just a notch below the other guys. Willis and Boselli are clearly HoF talents but both played short careers.

Fred Taylor, Zach Thomas and Ricky Watters are just Hall of Very Good, IMO.

Guys I just don't know enough about:
Eric Allen
Willie Anderson
Leroy Butler
Sam Mills
Steve Tasker
Bryant Young

Eddie George and Hines Ward should never get in. Hines Ward is a cheapshot douchebag and Eddie George has to be one of the least productive RBs on a per carry basis. I suppose George's durability is elite and that has to count for something, but he only averaged 3.6 YPC and 1 TD every 40 touches. That is abysmal. For comparison, Jamaal Charles, who was notoriously taken off the field pretty frequently near the goal line in his early years, averaged a TD every 26 touches. Adrian Peterson averaged a TD every 28 touches. LaDainian Tomlinson every 23 touches.
[Reply]
DJ's left nut 02:56 PM 11-29-2021
Eddie George is the Darrel Williams of 'great' RBs.

One of those guys who was touted as a 'power back' but who's rugged running style didn't translate to performance. People thought he was better than he was because he ran hard. Too bad he couldn't hit a hole to save his life.
[Reply]
ThaVirus 02:56 PM 11-29-2021
I ended up leaving Smith, Wayne, Johnson Boldin and Holt off of my assessment because I was shocked at how close their stats were. If you let one in, I think you have to let them all in.

Anyone want to take a stab at rating those five at their peak? On their absolute best day, in their prime.

I want to say:
1. Holt
2. Smith
3. Johnson
4. Wayne
5. Boldin

But I'm sure I could be convinced to switch that up a million different ways the more I think about it.
[Reply]
Megatron96 03:03 PM 11-29-2021
Ronde Barber - Great stats, and stats don't lie in this case
Anquon Boldin - Beast Mode of WRs
Devin Hester - best returner all time, the GOAT.
Patrick Willis - short career, but one of the best I ever saw at the position

After that, it's just a really thin class.
[Reply]
Rain Man 03:11 PM 11-29-2021
Originally Posted by ThaVirus:
I ended up leaving Smith, Wayne, Johnson Boldin and Holt off of my assessment because I was shocked at how close their stats were. If you let one in, I think you have to let them all in.

Anyone want to take a stab at rating those five at their peak? On their absolute best day, in their prime.

I want to say:
1. Holt
2. Smith
3. Johnson
4. Wayne
5. Boldin

But I'm sure I could be convinced to switch that up a million different ways the more I think about it.
A confusing part of this evaluation in my mind is whether the guy was generally the #1 receiver on his team or not. I want to say that a #2 receiver (Wayne and Boldin) didn't typically face the opponent's #1 cornerback, so they should be ranked lower. But at the same time I guess I could argue that they got similar production even with a #1 receiver lined up next to them. But in my mind are they really a Hall of Famer if they weren't even the best guy on their own team?

So I would agree with you in ranking Boldin and Wayne at the bottom. I like Holt at the top because he and Isaac Bruce were 1a and 1b on their team. I'd be tempted to rank Johnson higher than Smith, but at the same time I like Smith because he was such a smart and passionate player. That's an intangible that I like. Johnson dominated because he could, and Smith dominated because he really wanted to.

So all in all, I think my list would be identical to yours.
[Reply]
Rain Man 03:14 PM 11-29-2021
Originally Posted by DJ's left nut:
People have forgotten how unbelievably good Patrick Willis was.

In the first 7 years of his career he made 7 Pro Bowls and 5 First Team All Pro teams. That's incredible. And yeah, he retired at 30 which is pretty young, but would he have had any greater impact on the game had he stuck around for another 3-4 years and racked up stats?

He was the heart and soul of those Harbaugh 49er teams that emerged from the abyss into annual contenders. He was able to control games as an off-ball backer in ways that only the All Time guys have been able to do.

He belongs in the Hall.
I can get behind this. I've long been an advocate that I'd rather see fast-burning guys in the hall who were truly dominant over pretty good guys who played forever. Five all-pros in seven years, and 7 pro bowls says that the guy was good enough that people immediately knew that he was a standout.

Tony Boselli can make the same argument, so I'd vote for those two over most of the list.

There's only one guy that I point to on this list and say, "Yeah, he's a no-brain hall of famer", and that's Devin Hester.
[Reply]
DJ's left nut 03:16 PM 11-29-2021
Originally Posted by ThaVirus:
I ended up leaving Smith, Wayne, Johnson Boldin and Holt off of my assessment because I was shocked at how close their stats were. If you let one in, I think you have to let them all in.

Anyone want to take a stab at rating those five at their peak? On their absolute best day, in their prime.

I want to say:
1. Holt
2. Smith
3. Johnson
4. Wayne
5. Boldin

But I'm sure I could be convinced to switch that up a million different ways the more I think about it.
Same analysis I had, I just went the opposite direction and decided to advance them all.

My rankings would probably be:

Smith
Holt
Wayne
Boldin
Johnson

Smith was just so unique. He was Hill before Hill - an extremely dangerous deep threat who'd also go over the middle and take a beating to secure a catch despite his smaller stature. And he was a firebrand; a real team leader.

Holt was silky smooth. You talked about what a technician Adams was in his prime - Holt's apex was Adams route-running with better speed/athleticism.

Wayne's a hard case but it's just so damn hard to ignore the productivity. Was it him or Manning? Good question - but the guy had 14K receiving yards. That's a ton.

I've gone into Boldin and honestly Johnson was a lot like Hopkins to me - a guy I knew was going to get his catches/yards but who never really scared me that much. And I recognize it's irrational as he was pretty much a better version of Boldin - I just respect the hell out of the way Boldin played out there.
[Reply]
EPodolak 03:36 PM 11-29-2021
Voted some that were pretty obvious, apparently consensus. Barber, Wayne, Ware, Boldin...

Impressed at the memory some of you guys have of players.
[Reply]
ThaVirus 03:43 PM 11-29-2021
Originally Posted by Rain Man:
A confusing part of this evaluation in my mind is whether the guy was generally the #1 receiver on his team or not. I want to say that a #2 receiver (Wayne and Boldin) didn't typically face the opponent's #1 cornerback, so they should be ranked lower. But at the same time I guess I could argue that they got similar production even with a #1 receiver lined up next to them. But in my mind are they really a Hall of Famer if they weren't even the best guy on their own team?
This is a good point. I did not consciously consider this, though given my ranking, maybe that subconsciously played a role.

It's difficult for me to fault a guy for not being the best on his team when the other guy is Marvin Harrison or Larry Fitzgerald. Those guys would probably round out a consensus top 5 after Rice, Moss and TO, but surely it did benefit them to not receive the full attention of a #1 target.

You also have to consider QBs throwing to them, which muddies the waters even further. Wayne, Boldin and Holt had several years of HoF QB play to cash in on, whereas Smith and Johnson (Johnson in particular) had to deal with generally crappy QBs for much of their career.

Originally Posted by :
So I would agree with you in ranking Boldin and Wayne at the bottom. I like Holt at the top because he and Isaac Bruce were 1a and 1b on their team. I'd be tempted to rank Johnson higher than Smith, but at the same time I like Smith because he was such a smart and passionate player. That's an intangible that I like. Johnson dominated because he could, and Smith dominated because he really wanted to.

So all in all, I think my list would be identical to yours.
The bolded is so true. As a smaller guy myself, I also love the type of little dude who's able to go out there and just impose his will.

Steve Smith bullying trashy ass Aqib Talib will forever be one of my favorite football memories.
[Reply]
ThaVirus 03:52 PM 11-29-2021
Originally Posted by Rain Man:
I can get behind this. I've long been an advocate that I'd rather see fast-burning guys in the hall who were truly dominant over pretty good guys who played forever. Five all-pros in seven years, and 7 pro bowls says that the guy was good enough that people immediately knew that he was a standout.

Tony Boselli can make the same argument, so I'd vote for those two over most of the list.
I actually agree. Generally I'd prefer the brighter stars that burn out more quickly to those who just hang on forever. I feel like there's a lot of luck that plays into durability and being able to play for a long time. I hate to hold it against a guy.

Overrating longevity is also how we end up entertaining guys like Jerome Bettis and Philip Rivers. I'd rather occasionally let in a Terrell Davis than consistently consider guys like Eddie George and Eli Manning.

Originally Posted by DJ's left nut:
Same analysis I had, I just went the opposite direction and decided to advance them all.

My rankings would probably be:

Smith
Holt
Wayne
Boldin
Johnson

Smith was just so unique. He was Hill before Hill - an extremely dangerous deep threat who'd also go over the middle and take a beating to secure a catch despite his smaller stature. And he was a firebrand; a real team leader.

Holt was silky smooth. You talked about what a technician Adams was in his prime - Holt's apex was Adams route-running with better speed/athleticism.

Wayne's a hard case but it's just so damn hard to ignore the productivity. Was it him or Manning? Good question - but the guy had 14K receiving yards. That's a ton.

I've gone into Boldin and honestly Johnson was a lot like Hopkins to me - a guy I knew was going to get his catches/yards but who never really scared me that much. And I recognize it's irrational as he was pretty much a better version of Boldin - I just respect the hell out of the way Boldin played out there.
I'm glad we all agree that Holt and Smith are a cut above the rest here. The other guys are a bit harder to place.

That makes it even more shocking when looking at the overall career numbers. The margins here are razor thin for these guys. It's weird.
[Reply]
Mile High Mania 04:07 PM 11-29-2021
I only voted for 6...
[Reply]
smithandrew051 04:11 PM 11-29-2021
I have a hard time putting Hester in.

There are several other guys that I think would’ve been great all time returners, but they were too valuable at other positions to risk injury on returns. Tyreek Hill, Barry Sanders, etc.
[Reply]
PHOG 04:22 PM 11-29-2021
First time around, I only had 5...was a real chore to get 15.
[Reply]
tatorhog 04:28 PM 11-29-2021
Best I could come up with was 6

Tony Boselli
Andre Johnson
Demarcus Ware
Fred Taylor
Vince Wilfork
Patrick Willis

I've always felt Boselli never got the love he deserved. I think being a LT with a southpaw QB may hurt him a little, but the dude was a wall while he was out there. I like Wilfork too. He doesn't have the stats, but he made an impact in the games he played.

I'm not big on Fred Taylor, but he had stats.
[Reply]
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